So, there’s a climate emergency. The Alps are expected to loose around 35% of their snow cover by 2035. How’s that going to work for Morzine?
Snowfall levels in the French Alps dropped an average of 64cm each winter between 1960 and 2007 and it’s certainly fair to say that Morzine isn’t the highest ski resort in the Alps. Yet what we lack in altitude, we more than make up for in clever community folk and inventive, unique ideas. Step forward Montagne Verte.
What’s Montagne Verte then?
It’s a not-for-profit public benefit association launched in Morzine in March 2019 with one simple mission; to drive an ambitious programme of change by providing local residents, visitors and business owners with solutions to minimise their impact on the environment and subsequently reduce the valley’s carbon footprint.
Nice idea, putting it in the hands of the community. But who’s going to push this forward while everyone’s busy running businesses and what not?
It’s funny you should ask, because Montagne Verte have thought of that. I told you they were clever. They’ll be using funds generated by membership to hire a full time, permanent Sustainability Director. It’ll be their job to undertake research on behalf of the resort, drive ambitious projects such as eco-purchasing cooperatives and plastic reduction strategies in addition to sharing and promoting sustainable business practices.
Can we really make a difference though?
Seriously? None of this is inevitable, it’s important that people realise this, otherwise the change we so desperately need will never happen. From making sure you can vote in local government elections to eating less meat, there are a tonne of things you can do to make a difference. Buying locally produced food, avoiding fast fashion, switching to electric vehicles, reducing the volume of plastic in your life… Montagne Verte have practical tips and excellent resources on all of these things.
So it’s about future-proofing the resort then?
Precisely. On 1st August 2019 the Greenland ice sheet lost more water volume in one day than on any other day since records began in 1950, shedding 12.5 billion (YES, billion) tonnes of water into the sea. This monumental and scary climate change is real in the Arctic and it’s heading our way. The temperature in the Alps has risen at almost twice the global average and we’ve lost 50% of our glaciers since 1850, so we’re calling a climate emergency now. When it takes ten years for the ambulance to arrive, it’s worth getting the call in early.
Sounds expensive though. Who’s going to pay for all this action?
Well, I hope we all are. Because everyone – every business owner, every second home owner, every season worker, every holiday maker stands to benefit. If you love the mountains or if you make a living here, you’ve a vested interest in helping Montagne Verte achieve their objectives. It’s good for the planet and it’s good for business.
What’s it going to cost me then?
Barely anything, or loads, you choose. It’ll cost Montagne Verte €4000 per month to employ their Sustainability Director and this will be directly funded by us, the community. The larger the financial investment from members, the more impact Mountagne Verte can have. For €10 per month you’ll become a Contributing Member, which gives you a range of benefits including membership marketing assets, downloadables, social media posts and more. Foundation Members on the other hand, invest €40 per month, have voting rights at the associations annual general meeting, can write guest blogs for the Montagne Verte website and receive a highlighted eco business directory listing on the Morzine Source Magazine website. From a business marketing perspective alone, it’s definitely worth becoming a member. Saving our snow, that’s the bonus.
OK, I’m almost convinced, what else have you got for me?
Honestly, Max from Montagne Verte said it best at a recent presentation. “If not now, then when?” Everyone shrugs. “If not here, then where?” Good question, since this has never been tried before. “If not us, then who?” Well I’ve not met such a passionate group of people in a long time, so who knows…
OK, I’m in and I can’t understand why no one has done this before. Where do I sign up?
My work here is done. Head to montagnevertemorzine.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org and Montagne Verte will do the rest. And you can stay up to date with the latest goings-on by following Montagne Verte on Facebook and Instagram.